Cancer Type – Breast Cancer
Bio – Diahann Carroll -Her real-life role of breast cancer survivor-led her to speak up for cancer.
Short Story – Many recognize her from starring in TV’s “Dynasty”. When diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, she wanted to keep it secret. The news came as a shock, and after taking some time to process, she decided she should speak up about the disease. “There are millions of women that have to deal with this every day. We have to work together here, and it’s my responsibility to help them with that, she stated in an interview on OWN for “Oprah’s Master Class.”
Her cancer was treated with a lumpectomy followed by 12 weeks of radiation treatment. She felt fortunate she did not have chemotherapy.
In an interview with Spectrum Health in 2016, she stated, “The thought of dying certainly will make you humble. …I had to try to handle it with as much dignity and not worry my family about it constantly. I’ve always believed that if you can find a brighter side of a very unfortunate, unhappy-making situation, it’s your responsibility to do that because everyone around you is going to be even more devastated than you. At some point, you have to take charge of the fact that you have a life to live and you’ll do the best that you can.”
Diahann Carol Spouse – Vic Damone (married 1996)
Diahann Carroll Breast Cancer Update
Unfortunately, Diahann passed away last year (October 2019) from her breast cancer. She was an outspoken advocate for women and breast cancer since her original diagnosis. She shared her story of the road that has led from a private moment of diagnosis and self-reflection to a very public, country-wide campaign to educate women about the importance of breast cancer screening.
Most people know her from her acting career, but she also has an award in her name with the Great American Songbook Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit that is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the music of the Great American Songbook.
Diahann, her daughter Suzanne Kay, and Angela Basset all attended the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Dinner. Funds provide scholarships for students to remain in TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).
Diahann was unwavering in her determination to make sure women understood the need for education and early screening. Cancer Horizons cannot thank Diahann enough for being that outspoken advocate in her public campaign for women to be educated about breast cancer screening and its importance.
|Born||Carol Diahann Johnson, July 17, 1935 (age 81), The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States|
|Education||Music & Art High School, New York University|
|Spouse(s)||Monte Kay (m. 1956; div. 1963), Fredde Glusman (m. 1973; div. 1973), Robert DeLeon (m. 1975; d. 1977), Vic Damone (m. 1987; div. 1996)|
|Partner(s)||David Frost (1970–1973)|
Image Credits – Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons